Spectral Mansions The making of a Dublin tenement, 1800–1914
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In 1800, Dublin was one of the largest and most impressive cities in Europe. The city’s town houses and squares represented the pinnacle of Georgian elegance. Henrietta Street was synonymous with this world of cultural refinement, being one of the earliest and grandest residential districts in Dublin. At the end of the eighteenth century, the street was home to some of the most powerful members of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. Yet, less than a century later, Dublin had been transformed from the playground of the elite, into a city renowned for its deprivation and vast slums. Despite once being ‘the best address in town’, by 1900 almost every house on Henrietta Street was in use as tenements, some shockingly overcrowded.